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in benghazi overnight. nearly a dozen americans were inside, guarded only by libyan security. for nearly 20 minutes, the libyan guards exchanged fire with the attackers. and hurled a firebomb inside. the militants burned down at least one building. ambassador stevens was either killed by smoke inhalation, or more likely in a car trying to escape with two guards, which may have been hit by a mortar. the other american was killed from smoke inhalation. ambassador stevens is a long-serving diplomat. widely respected and passionate about libya. he was there during the revolution, serving as the american representative to the transitional national council. earlier in the day tuesday, protesters breached the walls of the u.s. embassy in cairo, tearing down the american flag and ripping it to shreds. raising a black flag reading, there is no god but allah. u.s. officials fear both incidents are in response to this low-budget, anti-muslim film. it's so controversial in the middle east, abc news is not showing it. the movie was produced in the u.s. by an israeli filmmaker, who says he intented the f
of the protests. meanwhile, diane, the american consulate in benghazi, libya was also attacked tonight. that incident believed to have also been sparked by that same controversial film. as for cairo, the protests have now quieted. the american embassy tells us all staff are safe and accounted for. diane? >> all right, thank you, alex marquardt reporting from the middle east tonight. >>> now back here at home, a surprising twist in the presidential race. governor romney facing criticism tonight not from the president or the democrats, but from some prominent members of his own party and our new abc n news/"washington post" poll shows it. take a look. a 6% lead. before the conventions romney had a slight lead. the election now 56 days away, "your voice, your vote," and abc's david muir reports from las vegas tonight. >> reporter: mitt romney in nevada, on the anniversary of 9/11 in front of the national guard. >> we must keep our promises and regain the trust of all who have worn the uniform and served our country. >> reporter: his words come after criticism romney left afghanistan out o
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